(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “Days of our Lives” has cast actor and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” culture expert Jai Rodriguez in as yet-to-be-named role set to begin airing in January 2012, per a tweet by the actor on Thursday, October 13.
Although a “Days of our Lives” representative was unable to reveal the character in which Rodriguez would be portraying nor what storyline he’d be involved in, they did state that Rodriguez “will be on for at least a few episodes.”
Just days before announcing his “DAYS” stint, Rodriguez wrote various messages on his Twitter and Facebook pages. On Sunday, October 9, Rodriguez wrote on his Facebook Fan Page and said “Today I’m gonna hit the gym so I’m nice and pumped for my two auditions tomorrow.” On Wednesday, October 12, Rodriguez tweeted that he got a “call back for major tv show tomorrow. So excited!!!” While it wasn’t clear what show he was referring to at the time, the timing fits as the next day he tweeted “Yay! I booked a great new role on Days of Our Lives!!! I start shooting in one week. Details to come!!”
“Days of our Lives” isn’t Rodriguez’s first foray into daytime as he previously appeared in episodes of ABC’s “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” Earlier this year the actor appeared as a drag queen in episodes of NBC’s “Harry’s Law” and ABC’s “Detroit 1-8-7.” Rodriguez is an executive producer of the upcoming LOGO series “Bad Sex,” which premieres Friday, November 4 at 9:00 PM ET/8:00 PM CT on LOGO.
Rodriguez begins filming his appearance on “DAYS” next week.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — October 8, 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of Soap Opera Network, an online magazine celebrating the world of soaps past, present and future.
Soap Opera Network began as an online message board on the then popular ezBoard (now called Yuki) platform by two individuals that wanted to start a more industry based discussion forum for fans of the soap opera genre with the idea that not only could one discuss the comings, the goings or the general news of the day, but have the opportunity to learn more about the names, the faces and the minds of the people that help make daily dramatic serials happen year in and year out. At launch, soap operas “All My Children, “As The World Turns,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital,” “Guiding Light,” “One Life to Live,” “Passions,” “Port Charles,” and “The Young and the Restless” were on the schedules of television networks ABC, CBS and NBC.
In November 2002, Soap Opera Network left ezBoard and became its own .com service.
Thanks to elaborate databases such as a ratings archive (how soaps rated over the years), episode count archive (who appeared in episodes of a soap opera each and every month and year), its end credit archive (who wrote, directed or produced each episode), including a listing of episode writers and directors along with profile pieces on more than 80% of the writers, producers and directors, Soap Opera Network has cornered the market on information surrounding the inner workings of the soap opera format.
Over the course of its ten years, Soap Opera Network has interviewed a number of daytime’s biggest stars and behind the scenes personnel including Susan Lucci, Erika Slezak, Melody Thomas Scott, Maurice Benard, Steve Burton, Sarah Brown, Hillary B. Smith, Robert S. Woods, Ilene Kristen, Ken Corday, Cameron Mathison, Cady McClain, Eden Riegel, Judith Light, Bradley P. Bell, Brian Frons, Maria Arena Bell, Sherri Shepherd, Daniel Goddard, Greg Meng, Marlene McPherson, Darrell Ray Thomas, Nancy Curlee, Melissa Archer, Kristen Alderson, Julie Pinson, Ron Carlivati, Frank Valentini, Linda Dano and many more.
Current Soap Opera Network staff is as follows:
Xavier Toups, Co-Founder
Errol Lewis, Editor in Chief; General Hospital Editor; Days of our Lives Editor
Angela Rosa, Managing Editor; All My Children Editor
Scotty Gore, Managing Editor; One Life to Live Editor
Venus Stone-Cutter, The Young and the Restless Editor
Gehrig Burnett Jr., The Bold and the Beautiful Editor
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Early this afternoon, Entertainment Weekly broke the news that daytime’s number one drama, “The Young and the Restless,” has put another former “All My Children” star on contract to join Genoa City’s ranks. This happens just several weeks after wooing the ABC Daytime drama’s acclaimed and long-time casting director, Judy Blye Wilson. The CBS drama and Wilson have snatched up one of Wilson’s most popular Pine Valley finds, Melissa Claire Egan. Beginning on November 11, Egan will debut in the contract role of mystery woman Chelsea.
Egan debuted in the role of Annie McDermott on “AMC” in July 2006. This 30-year old actress would earn a Daytime Emmy nomination for Supporting Actress in 2009 as Annie turned from an all around good girl to Pine Valley’s most psychotic femme fatale. The character was responsible for killing her brother, Richie (Billy Miller), her future lover’s aunt, Di Henry (initially played by Kelly Giddish), and the attempted murders of Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) and Greenlee Smyth (Rebecca Budig). At the end of her initial four-year contract in 2010, the actress agreed to a 6-month extension at “AMC’s” request and stopped airing regularly on the soap by February 2011. Egan returned for a short stint during the summer to help say goodbye to the network run of the soap that gave her her big break.
Before hiring Wilson and Egan, “Y&R” had already built up a long history of picking up former “AMC” actors fresh off their Pine Valley stints including Peter Bergman (Jack), Stacy Haiduk (ex-Patty), Amelia Heinle (Victoria) and Debbi Morgan who debuted as Devon’s (Bryton McClure) biological mother, Harmony, earlier today. The cast currently boasts three Blye finds including Miller (Billy), Jeff Branson (Ronan) and the recently fired Eden Riegel (Heather).
Look for Chelsea to play into Billy’s storyline reuniting former co-stars and good pals Egan and Miller.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Prospect Park continues to forge ahead with plans for their new Online Network in preparation of its January launch by signing a new deal with Universal Music Group. As part of deal, music from UMG’s record and publishing companies will be featured in upcoming episodes of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” when the soaps transition to the new online venue early next year.
The agreement will also provide fans with an opportunity to purchase songs used in both shows, as well as access to exclusive online content. According to Prospect Park executives Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, “As we continue to develop programming for our online network, we are taking every facet of production into consideration to create a premium product for our viewers. Previously these programs have not focused on, or had limited contemporary music and artist involvement, and through UMG we can deliver fans from around the world access to some of the world’s most popular music and artists all leading to better production, storylines and program experience.”
In recent years Kwatinetz and UMG have collaborated with “One Life to Live” in episodes featuring Snoop Dogg, One Republic, Mary J. Blige, and Puddle of Mudd.
“This unique arrangement with ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ offers our artists and songwriters a special opportunity for exposure on two of the most iconic soap operas ever. The online network for the programs is an exciting new vehicle for consumers to connect with our artists and their work, and purchase music seamlessly as they hear it on each episode. We look forward to working with Prospect to bring the best music to our shows’ fans,” UMG President & COO, Zach Horowitz stated in a press release.
Prospect Park secured the the rights to “AMC” and “OLTL” from the Disney/ABC Domestic Television Group back in July, as part of a multi-year, multi-platform licensing agreement. Both shows are expected to begin airing on The Online Network (TOLN) in mid-January.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Original “One Life to Live” cast member Doris Belack passed away Monday of natural causes in Manhattan. Belack potrayed Anna Wolek Craig on the show from 1968-77. She was 85 years old.
Belack had a lengthy television and film career spanning nearly 50 years. Her first TV appearance was in 1951 in the series “Treasury Men in Action.” Four years later she performed alongside Sidney Poitier on the record “Poetry of the Negro,” which was produced by her husband of 65 years, Philip Rose (who passed away on May 31).
In the early 1960s, Belack appeared in “East Side/West Side,” and later guest starred in two episodes of “The Patty Duke Show.” She joined the cast of the new soap “One Life to Live” when it premiered in July 1968, playing Anna Wolek, a member of daytime’s first Polish-American middle class family. Belack would stay with the show until 1977, at which time the role of Anna was recast with Kathleen Maguire from 1977-78, and Phyllis Behar from 1978-82, when the Anna was written off the show. In 1970, Belack made a guest appearance as Anna on “All My Children.” Other soap roles included “Another World,” “The Edge of Night,” and “The Doctors.”
After leaving “One Life to Live,” Belack appeared in an episode of “Barney Miller” as Fish’s wife Bernice, Libby Levine in the 1977 feature film “Looking Up,” which also starred her former “OLTL” co-star and onscreen sister-in-law Marilyn Chris, ex-Wanda Wolek.
Following roles in TV movies “The Last Tenant,” The Jilting of Granny Weatherall,” and “The Black Marble” (again alongside Chris), s”We’re Fighting Back” and “Hanky Panky,” she landed one of her most memorable film roles, playing soap opera producer Rita Marshall in “Tootsie.” Around the same time, she had a starring role on the short-lived CBS comedy series “Baker’s Dozen.”
Through the 1980s, Belack’s career continued to flourish with parts in the films “The Cradle Will Fall,” “Sessions,” “The Hearst and Davis Affair,” “Almost Partners,” “*batteries not included,” “She-Devil,” “Fast Forward,” “Hostage,” “Splash, Too,” and “The Luckiest Man in the World.” She also guest starred in numerous television series, including “Family Ties,” “The Cosby Show,” “Cagney and Lacey,” “Remington Steele,” “The Golden Girls,” “Mr. Belvedere,” “Off the Rack,” “Scarecrow and Mrs. King,” “Mary,” “Emerald Point N.A.S.,” “Hometown,” “The Equalizer,” “Baby Boom,” and “Anything But Love.”
Belack stayed action in television and film even into the 1990s, starring in the short-lived ABC primetime series “Laurie Hill,” and equally brief CBS comedy “Family Album.” She also co-starred as Dr. Catherine Tomsky in the 1991 Bill Murray feature film “What About Bob?,” and as Dr. Roberts in 1994′s “Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult.” Other film appearances include “Opportunity Knocks,” “Absolute Strangers,” “What’s Your Sign?,” “Krippendorf’s Tribe,” “The Odd Couple II,” and “Fail Safe.” Belack also guest-starred in a number of TV series during the ’90s including “Mathnet,” “Lifestories: Families in Crisis,” “Picket Fences,” “Chicago Hope,” “Ellen,” “Public Morals,” “Prince Street,” “Dellaventura,” “Touched By an Angel,” “Cosby,” and “New York Undercover.”
In 1999, she provided the voices of Mayor Tippi Dink and teacher Ms. Wingo in “Doug’s 1st Movie,” after having voiced the characters throughout the animated series’ television run. Also, between 1990 and 2001, she played Judge Margaret Barry in ten episodes of “Law & Order” and two episodes of “Law & Order: SVU” from 2000-01.
Other TV and film credits include the short film “The Lovers” and the television series “Now & Again,” “Madigan Men,” and “Everwood.” Belack’s last television appearance was in a 2003 episode of “Sex and the City,” and her final film roles were in “Prime” (2005), which starred Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep; “Delirious” (2006 ), starring Steve Buscemi, and “Arranged” (2008).
Belack was also voiced characters in the video games “True Crime: New York City” and “Grand Theft Auto IV,” where she voiced the character of Maureen McReary. And between 1960 and 1990 she appeared on stage in productions of “The Cemetery Club,” “Cheaters,” “The Trip Back Down,” “Bad Habits,” “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” “The Ninety Day Mistress,” “Nathan Weinstein, Mystic, Connecticut,” “The Heroine,” and “Semi-Detached.”
A joint public memorial for both Belack and Rose will be held on Monday, October 17, at Noon ET at the Ambassador Theater in New York City.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – Marc Berman of TV Media Insights has been doing an excellent job in reporting the overnight ratings data for ABC’s new daytime talk show “The Chew,” which replaced soap opera “All My Children” in the 1:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT timeslot on Monday, September 26. Since the talker debuted it has lost ground compared to “AMC’s” performance at the same point last year in television households. Now more than a week since its debut, Berman has revealed that the show is also losing ground in the all important Women 18-49 sales demographic compared to how “All My Children” had performed as well.
Per TV Media Insights, “The Chew” is averaging a a 0.9 rating/6 share among women 18-49 out of a 0.8/6 from the average ratings of its lead-in programming from the ABC affiliated stations (ie. syndicated fare such as “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” or local news) after six days on the air (September 26 through October 3, 2011). “All My Children” by comparison averaged a 1.1/7 in the female demo (using October 2010 averages), which was 18% better than how “Chew” is performing so far. In the less important Women 25-54 demographic, “Chew” is averaging a 1.1/7 out of a 1.2/8 from its local lead-in averages. “AMC” averaged a 1.5/9 (again using October 2010 averages). Based on these numbers “Chew” is down 8 percent from its local ABC programming lead-in and 27 percent from how “AMC” performed one year earlier.
Final first week ratings data, including total viewers, for “The Chew” won’t be available until Thursday.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Saturday, October 1, the National Board of Directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) met for the final time in 2011, as previously reported. One of the topics of discussion was Prospect Park and its transitioning of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” to the web in January 2012. While exact details of the meeting are still unknown in that respect, a representative speaks to Soap Opera Network exclusively on where things stand at this time between the actors union and Prospect Park.
It has been nearly three months since Prospect Park announced that they had licensed the rights to “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” from the Disney/ABC Television Group with the intention of transitioning the soaps to the web beginning in January 2012. Since that time, AFTRA, better known as the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union, has been relatively silent on how the transition would be possible, until now. Soap Opera Network has learned exclusively that despite a number of actors from both “AMC” and “OLTL” signing on for the 2.0 versions of the soaps, talks between Prospect Park and AFTRA are still ongoing and that a deal between the actors union and the production company has yet to be signed.
Although “One Life to Live’s” Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan Banks), Kelley Missal (Danielle Rayburn), Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning) and Jerry VerDorn (Clint Buchanan), Ted King (Thomas Delgado), Michael Easton (John McBain), Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer) and Erika Slezak (Viki Banks) and “All My Children’s” Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery) and Lindsay Hartley (Cara Castillo) have already signed on despite no official deal between AFTRA and Prospect Park, an AFTRA rep tells Soap Opera Network “we are still in negotiations with Prospect Park. There is no agreement as of yet, but we are in discussion and when there is something final to announce we will announce it.”
Many of you have wondered why more cast members from “One Life to Live” have signed on to the web version of their show, pending a Prospect Park/AFTRA contract agreement, while not as many have signed on from the “All My Children” cast, but the AFTRA rep assures us that “we’ve been keeping the cast members of both shows advised as to the terms of the progress and the status of the discussions with Prospect Park.”
Actors from “All My Children,” which ended its television run on September 23, 2011, are left in limbo in the interim of a deal between AFTRA and Prospect Park, leaving many to seek new soap roles (Debbi Morgan, ex-Dr. Angie Hubbard now on “The Young and the Restless”), return to the soap that launched their careers (Jacob Young, ex-JR Chandler returned to “The Bold and the Beautiful”), or just deciding to take a much needed break (Michael E. Knight, ex-Tad Martin).
Nelson Branco, best known as the writer of the popular Suds Report column for website TV Guide Canada and for his contributions to magazine Hello! Canada is back! This time he’s Uncensored.
With Soap Opera: Uncensored, fans of Branco will notice the same writing style from his Suds Report, which includes an interview, translated comments on daytime moves, a breakdown of what’s happening on each soap and his uber-popular Blind Items.
For just $1.99 per issue, readers will receive 60 pages of news, notes and even an interview from “Venice: The Series” star Crystal Chappell where she explains why her online web soap is recasting roles played by Gina Tognoni (ex-Kelly Cramer, “One Life to Live”) and Wes Ramsey (ex-Sam Spencer, “Guiding Light”).
Snippet from Chappell Interview…
Despite winning an Emmy for Venice, Chappell still has to deal with the cruel realities of show business. But hey, what’s a soap without cast changes? My boyfriend Eric Martsolf has joined the Sapphic web serial as a recast. The ‘DAYS’ hunk will be replacing Wes Ramsey, who is currently in New York City shooting ‘The Playboy Club.’ “Eric’s wonderful in this,” compliments Chappell. “Eric’s always been supportive of the show. I had to shoot this character with or without Wes, so I sent the script to Eric, and luckily he agreed to do it. It was so much fun to see actors I love and respect in different parts. And you can talk to Eric about this — but this was a part he was born to play!” Also, don’t expect Gina Tognoni back as Sami. “She can’t do it,” sighs Chappell. “So I have to recast the role. I have someone in mind, but I can’t say who.”
Soap Opera: Uncernsored:
Inside the Issue
If that wasn’t enough to get you interested, here are this weeks blind items from Soap Opera: Uncensored (as written by Nelson Branco):
—Which boring character is headed back to his old stomping grounds?
—Which super villainess is returning to her old show with a new-ish face?
—Expect some major firings very soon!
—Which despised star is cleaning up his or her a-hole act? But co-stars are dubious.
–Which soap actress in major trouble physically, mentally, and professionally?
—–Which new actor is as “gay as a handbag,” says one co-star, but the acting novice thinks he’s fooling people into thinking he’s straight?
To order your copy of the first edition of Soap Opera: Uncensored, click here.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The final meeting of the year for the National Board of Directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) took place today via video conferences in New York and Los Angeles and one of the key topics of discussion effects Prospect Park and television network contracts including those surrounding daytime soaps.
For a complete understanding of what took place and how it affects daytime programming, read the press release below (highlights in bold):
LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK (Oct. 1, 2011) — The National Board of Directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO – a national union of more than 70,000 recording artists, broadcasters and actors – met today by videoconference plenary in Los Angeles and New York, and unanimously voted to authorize the AFTRA Sound Recordings Negotiating Committee to take all actions necessary, up to and including proceeding to a strike authorization vote if needed, to secure an agreement with the major record labels.
Negotiations between AFTRA and representatives from Sony, UMG, Warner, EMI, Disney and most of their subsidiary labels for a successor agreement to the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Sound Recordings, the Union’s second largest national contract, commenced in New York on Aug. 15, with an additional round of bargaining held in Los Angeles the week of Sept. 12-16. An additional bargaining date has been set for Oct. 5 in an effort to resolve outstanding issues. AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth serves as Chief Negotiator for the Union.
The Sound Recordings Code covers singers, royalty and non-royalty artists, as well as announcers, actors, comedians, narrators and sound effects artists who work on recordings in all new and traditional media and all music formats, in addition to audiobooks, comedy albums and cast albums. The Code generates more than $140 million annually in AFTRA-covered earnings and benefits for both major artists and session singers around the country.
Board members also unanimously approved the appointment of the 2011 AFTRA Network Television Code Negotiating Committee. AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon will chair the 25-member committee and Hedgpeth will serve as Chief Negotiator for the Union. Negotiations with representatives for the four major television broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) and other producers are scheduled to commence on Nov. 7 in Los Angeles.
The AFTRA Network Television Code is the Union’s largest national collective bargaining agreement, and generates more than $300 million a year in member earnings. The Network Code covers programming in all television day parts, except for primetime dramatic programs on the networks and the CW. This includes dramas in first-run syndication, morning news shows, talk shows, serials (soap operas), variety, reality, contest and sports. Current programs covered by this contract include: “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “The Price is Right,” “General Hospital,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “The Voice,” “Survivor,” “20/20,” “Deal or No Deal,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” among many others.
“The Sound Recordings and Network Television Codes are AFTRA’s two largest and most mature contracts, and for more than 50 years, they have each provided thousands of AFTRA members with strong wages and important benefits,” said Hedgpeth. “But the traditional music, news and entertainment industries are changing rapidly, and the current and upcoming negotiations will provide a critical glimpse into the significant challenges that lie ahead in the 21st century and beyond.
“In order to prevail,” Hedgpeth continued, “professional union talent must stand together and organize themselves through their Union so that together they can secure strong contracts.”
Other business discussed at the Board’s final meeting of the year included a report on the One Union process, and a report on current negotiations with Prospect Park regarding the on-line productions of “One Life to Live” and “All My Children,” slated to commence in late 2011/early 2012.
National Treasurer and Los Angeles member Matthew Kimbrough told the Board that AFTRA has increased its budget for One Union-related expenses by another $115,000 to more than $1.5 million.
In her President’s Report, AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon updated Board members on the progress of One Union discussions with Screen Actors Guild. She observed: “The Labor Movement is facing tremendous challenges all across the country. Union density is declining in both the public and private sectors, and in mature and emerging industries alike. Performers and professionals who work in the entertainment and media industries are not immune from these challenges.
“This is why our work with Screen Actors Guild to build one new union for all of our members is so timely and so important,” continued Reardon. “We are building a bigger, stronger and more expansive union, both in terms of numbers and jurisdiction. The universe of work we cover has changed fundamentally, so this project is not just about our H&R benefits, and not just about two sets of dues. It’s about the industry and the future of the industry and how we stay unionized in the future.”
Phil Denniston, AFTRA National Director of Organizing, advised the Board that the new Organizing Incentive Fund Program, announced at the previous Board meeting in July, is now active and ready to receive applications from Locals. Denniston developed the program to provide AFTRA Locals additional support to continue building organizing programs to increase union density and job opportunities in local markets. A key feature of the program is an annual “matching fund” of $500,000 from the dedicated organizing revenue raised by the 2009 initiation fee increase. The Board today approved an oversight committee of members who will receive, review and approve all applications for matching funds.
Shelby Scott, Union Chair of the Trustees of the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds and AFTRA National Vice President, reported on the status of the AFTRA H&R Funds. The AFTRA H&R Trustees are next scheduled to meet in New York City next week.
Reardon was unanimously elected by the Board to serve as a Union representative on the AFTRA H&R Board of Trustees. Reardon replaces Kansas City actor Dean Vivian, who was elected as a Trustee at the May 14 meeting of the Board, but who subsequently had to step down due to work conflicts.
Longtime National Board member Mitchell McGuire has resigned from Board service after more than 20 years of service to AFTRA as New York Local and National Treasurer, and on many committees throughout the union. His resignation was accepted by the members of the National Board with expressions of gratitude for his years of dedicated and exemplary service to AFTRA members.
The National Board convened its meeting in the memory of more than 26 members who died since July, including New York recording artist Nick Ashford, newsperson Eleanor Mondale from the Twin Cities Local, Ernie Johnson, a sportscaster from Atlanta, actress Frances Bay from Los Angeles and actor Cliff Robertson from New York.
The AFTRA National Board will next meet by videoconference plenary in Los Angeles and New York on Jan. 21.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society. Visit AFTRA online at www.aftra.com.
Sometimes you can’t be two places at once. Thankfully, there are people willing to lend a hand. Professional photographer and sometimes writer Thomas Montalto was on hand for the annual Absolute Eden Riegel fan event last month and helped Soap Opera Network cover the event with pictures (see below) and even an interview. Unfortunately, just after this interview took place we would learn that Riegel was being let go from her contract role as Heather Stevens on “The Young and the Restless” before the actress was even told! Twitter broke the story to the actress before she was told by her bosses. In light of the actress completing filming at the CBS soap on Thursday, September 29, Soap Opera Network presents to you one of Riegel’s last interviews before she marks her grand exit from Genoa City in the coming weeks.
by Thomas Montalto
During my last trip out west I was able to cover the “Absolutely Eden” fan event for Eden Riegel held at Maggiano’s at The Grove in Los Angeles. The setting was very intimate. It was like I was joining Eden, who was accompanied by her mother Lenore Riegel, at a family dinner where everyone sat around a big table and chatted. “It went very well, I think everyone had a really great time,” Riegel said after the event. “Phyllis and Mary Beth always organize amazing events. We had a lot of very fun conversations and the food was amazing.”
If you have been following Eden on Twitter (@edenriegel), you know she recently became a mom for the first time. “It’s a huge adjustment. Life will never be the same again. It has been a lot of sleepless nights and stress. From the very second he was born, I was just so worried for him all the time, but he’s doing so great. The joy is much bigger than I imagined.”
It is so obvious from her tweets and after talking with her how much she loves experiencing motherhood and savoring every minute. “I am really loving it, I am really really loving it. I feel very lucky. My little guy is so special. I do feel very very lucky that I get to keep him. It’s just so weird, they let you go home with him from the hospital and he is just mine for the rest of his life. I feel so fortunate and so blessed.”
“I spent a couple of months being just a mommy and that was great and I loved it. It was a tough transition to go ‘oh gosh I have to leave him and spend time away from him’ and that made me very nervous,” she said about her recent return to “The Young and the Restless,” where she currently portrays Heather Stevens, a hard ass attorney. “It is nice to have a little time for myself and to do a job that makes me feel capable and to do work that I am proud of. Also to see other grown ups and talk about grown up things and get my hair done and things like that. Then when I go home to Jack, I feel all filled up and I have so much to give to him.”
She also previewed upon her return Heather would be back at the District Attorney’s office involved in the prosecution of a very high level case involving very important people in Genoa City. She’ll also finds herself battling feelings for someone from her past and having to make a decision on how good of an idea it would be to go down that road again.
As you know, Heather was not Eden’s first role on daytime. It has been over ten years since Eden was cast as Bianca on “All My Children”, the on screen daughter of Susan Lucci. It was no small role either. Bianca would have to deal with being Erica Kane’s daughter and coming out in the spotlight and facing her mothers issues. After Eden decided to move on to “Y&R,” “All My Children” recast the role of Bianca. Christina Bennett Lind would have some mighty big shoes to fill as Eden’s popularity was enormous as she brilliantly portrayed Bianca for the better part of ten years, which involved many groundbreaking storylines.
Although Bianca may no longer be hers to portray, she definitely has kept up with her and has kept a connection to the character and truly admires where Lind has taken the character. “I love her portrayal and I think she is extremely, extremely talented,” said Riegel of Lind’s portrayel of Bianca. “I’m very proud of her, I feel like the character is hers now and she’s doing amazing work. I actually saw the episode where Bianca and Marissa finally make love and I thought it was so beautiful. It actually brought me to tears. I just felt so proud and happy for Bianca, I think they are doing a great job.”
With “All My Children’s” broadcast television run coming to an end soon, Eden did mention she was sad she could not be there to help celebrate the end. “I regret that I could not be part of this big farewell and a lot of my old friends have come back to the show again in the final period of time. I of course would love to be a part of it, but at the same time I’m watching it as a fan and enjoying it in that capacity. It is bittersweet.”
“I am excited that the shows will continue and I think it would be the best for everyone because the fans keep wanting to see more and I think the shows are great and shouldn’t die because there is so much life left in them,” she said of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” moving on to the internet after their runs on broadcast television comes to an end. “There is so much competition on TV now and as long as the shows can continue in any capacity, it is good for everyone. The actors will have work and the fans will get the stories that they love.”
Eden shared some more exciting news about husband Andrew Miller when she talked about his new series “The Secret Circle,” where he is the executive producer, which joins the The CW lineup this fall. Miller is pictured far left, with the “Secret” cast. “I really hope everybody watches it, it’s a great show,” she said of the series. The premiere date is September 15 and it will air at 9:00pm. So, be sure to tune in to help support Eden’s husband out!
Check out Mr. Montalto’s new website aptly named StupidLittleBlog.com.